Friday, February 27, 2009

Qur'an: The Night

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy*

By the enshrouding night, by the radiant day, by His creation of male and female! The ways you take differ greatly. There is the one who gives, who is mindful of God, who testifies to goodness- We shall smooth his way toward ease. There is the one who is miserly, who is self-satisfied, who denies goodness- We shall smooth his way towards hardship and his wealth will not help him as he falls.

Our part is to provide guidance- this world and the next belong to Us- so I warn you about the raging Fire, in which none but the wicked one will burn, who denied [the truth] and turned away. The most pious ones will be spared this- who gives his wealth away in self-purification, not to return a favor to anyone but for the sake of his Lord the Most High- and he will be well pleased.

*Some have said that the religious tendency to capitalize odd things runs more than a bit toward the silly. Progressive Christians might say that it's often unneccesary- because we can have no love but God's love, say, there would be no need to capitalize divine love, except at the beginning of a sentence. Obviously the distinction between God and gods is clearer- but how would people of Islamic faith react to this notion? When to capitalize, and when not to?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are reading a translation. All translations of the Quran contain the bias of the translator and so are considered tafsir or explanation/commentary. Some translations say In the name of God the most merciful, the most gracious, others say In the name of God the most compassionate the most merciful....etc.

Anyway, in the arabic, both words (al-rahman, al-rahim)come from the same root word of "womb" and so the phrase has the added connotation of nurturing, protecting, loving, forgiving.....